Gates of Alexander

All humans are genetically 99.9 per cent identical.”
                                —Roger Highfield, Science Editor


Alexander's wall
.
something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
a poet said imagining friendly neighbors

working their way along that which stood between
resetting fallen gneiss and granite loaves and balls  
fallen to each to keep their wall intact
while one questioned the irony of friendly walls
and the other made a prima facie case
for an inherent friendliness
in their practicality

so we’ve had walls and walls remain
not of stone but of blood and bone,
walls built of double helixes
spiraling through time,
hydrogen-mortared pairs of
adenine guanine cytosine thymine,
walls smaller than any past poet’s wall-builder
might imagine, but centuries stronger
than Hadrian’s real or Alexander’s
mythic wall which locked the Gogs
and Magogs of alien tribes
behind stone or iron barriers
to keep the builders safe from
differences that barely exist
in the protein hieroglyphics
of nature-made chemical bonds
of a double helix making us Gogs
and Magogs of each other
as we spiral through worlds
hurting and killing to uphold
our imagination’s chronic 
belief in quixotic walls
and spurious distinctions
which heap between us
grudges and grief

Jim Culleny
12/13/16

Gog and Magog

Alexander’s Gates

 

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